RISK: Factions is a must-play for fans of the board game.
*As seen in Luchazine #2
Boards games are a perfect fit for XBLA. Anyone who has played RISK in their life knows the game can go on for hours until a
Changing the game's core focus drastically speeds things up. Objectives can range from controlling key points on the map or controlling a specific number of territories. I applaud the well-constructed addition to the classic formula. The objective-based mode is full of strategic opportunities, making for a difficult game. Of course if you're playing against skilled players, this streamlined mode can still take forever.
The best part about RISK is the game's aesthetics and amusing animations. Stainless Games added a lot of personality. There are five factions, Cats, Zombies, Yetis, Robots, and Humans. When a battle occurs, each player's forces will appear on the bottom of the screen and act out their own unique battle animations. The Robots will shoot lighting at foes while the cats fight back with rifles or hairballs. These charming well-drawn characters bring a lot of life into RISK and truly make Factions what it is.
RISK: Factions favors fictional continents. These new lands offer strategic points like dams that will flood an an entire continent, killing all the occupying troops, and a temple that allows the holder to automatically conquer one territory every turn. Thankfully, the game does have Earth available in multiplayer matches for purists. You're still able to play classic RISK without the factions or awesome animations, if you're a hateful person. My preferred style of play was world domination rules on the world map with the factions.
The campaign is really short. The 5 levels will have you play as each faction once. Non of the factions have individual abilities,
so the singleplayers feels like a tutorial for the game's multiplayer. You'll be playing on the fictional land-masses while utilizing the game's objective rule set. At the end of the 5 stages, the game give you a RISK: Factions T-Shirt and Robot Head Avatar award. The only real complaint I can throw at RISK: Factions is the lack of custom house-rules for singleplayer and online. Also, I wish the Factions mode with all the pretty animations allowed classic rules outside just dominating the board. It's a bummer the standard mode doesn't give me my Cavalry units.
While I personally prefer playing RISK for world domination, Factions successfully streamlines the experience while adding new strategic layers to the formula for those looking for a shorter game. The game is full of colorful personality and is a perfect fit for anyone looking for an online board game.